Williamsburg is often associated with millennial brunch-goers, music-lovers, and trend-setters. Excellent dining, music venues, and boutique shops fill this Brooklyn neighborhood to the brim. Williamsburg’s activity centers around Bedford Avenue, with McCarren Park and East River State Park within quick walking distance.
For the past two decades, creative minds and college grads have flocked to Williamsburg, sustaining a young and talented hiring pool. Williamsburg is known for its easy commute to Manhattan, numerous social activities, and care-free community.
Businesses that buy or rent office space in Williamsburg will find themselves in the company of Vice Media (also leasing in DUMBO), Livestream, Wanderlust, Farm to People, GREATS sneakers, Falcon.io, BlockApps, and GrowthWheel.
What Our Brokers Say About Williamsburg Office Space for Rent
Workspace Williamsburg, Green Desk, and The Brass Factory all operate in Williamsburg, making the neighborhood ideal for tech companies and start-ups looking for co-working space. Even co-working spaces are reinventing themselves in Williamsburg. For example, Rough Draft NYC is the first co-working space to also operate as a full-service creative agency. The Bakery combines co-working and studio space within a repurposed kosher bakery. AgTech X is a co-working lab specifically focused on urban farming. The Yard, which has a building on the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, offers everything from open coworking to dedicated desks to multi-desk private offices.
At the end of last year, Curbed indicated that Williamsburg is “past peak gentrification,” and it all started with a 2005 rezoning that set all the updates in motion. Here are some of the key redevelopment projects that have gradually changed the character of the neighborhood. 25 Kent Avenue is Williamsburg’s first ground-up office building, which upon completion housed 350,000 square feet of office space, 80,000 square feet of light manufacturing, and 70,000 square feet of retail. Bushwick Inlet Park is the focal point of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront. Eventually, the park will be 28 acres in size. Bushwick Realty Holdings is developing 296 Wythe Avenue into a new apartment building that’s expected to be completed in 2020. It will include 45 apartments, 24 parking spaces, and 13,000 square feet of retail space.
On Sept. 12, 2019, Two Trees Management announced the opening of Williamsburg’s tallest building, One South First. One South First is a 45-story mixed-use building at Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Factory site. The 435-foot building houses rental apartments, office spaces, and retail spaces. It also has some impressive amenities, including an 8,000 square foot fitness center, a 4,200 square foot residential lounge, and a 2,800 square foot co-working space.
Together with nearby Greenpoint, Williamsburg employs just under 79.5 thousand people. The biggest industries are elementary and secondary schools; food services; and advertising and public relations services. The industries in which workers make the most money include finance; nondepository credit and related activities; and legal services. The most common occupations in the area are managers, designers, and administrative assistants.
There’s always plenty to do in Williamsburg. The neighborhood offers everything from the City Reliquary or Museum of Food and Drink Lab, to beer-tasting at Brooklyn Brewery, or bowling and listening to live music at Brooklyn Bowl. Of course, food is an essential part of Williamsburg culture. Long-standing establishment Peter Luger has served some of the best steaks in the country since 1887, and newer restaurants such as Marlow & Sons, Diner, Allswell, and Egg have ushered in the farm to fork movement. In the warmer months, the neighborhood grows even more alive as the Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg food market, and Artists & Fleas set up near the waterfront.
Williamsburg was a popular location for condiment and household product manufacturers, and many of these buildings have been re-purposed for both residential and commercial purposes. One example is the Domino Sugar Refinery. Two Trees Management, which owns most commercial real estate in DUMBO, is leading a city-approved plan to convert Domino Sugar’s three buildings into a neighborhood hub, with creative office space alongside residential, retail, and community facilities.
Williamsburg commercial space for lease | By the numbers
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Williamsburg office space | Lease data & trends
As of Q2 of 2019, Williamsburg has 904,297 square feet of office space, with 887,611 square feet under construction or development. The current overall vacancy rate is around 18 percent, giving tenants the upper hand in lease negotiations. Williamsburg and several other Brooklyn areas provide about a $10 per square foot discount from Manhattan rental prices.
Commercial leasing activity has slowed down in Brooklyn from Q1 to Q2. Together with Long Island City, Brooklyn had 882,000 square feet in total leasing activity during Q2, down from 1.5 million square feet in Q1. Rental costs also fell in the second quarter—by 2.3 percentage points to just over $50.75 per square foot on average. Class A properties in Brooklyn cost an average of just over $59.75 per square foot. The vacancy rate has settled around 12.3 percent in Brooklyn as of Q2.
Overall asking rent for Williamsburg office space averages just over $69.75 per square foot, but prices are slightly higher above Grand Street due to closer proximity to the Subway lines. Most Williamsburg office space is considered Class B and costs around $50 per square foot to rent. There is also some Class A space that can be leased for approximately $71.25 per square foot.
Getting around: Transportation in Williamsburg
Williamsburg, which has a walk score 96, is served by 25 car shares, 13 bus lines, and 2 East River Ferry stops. The abundance of parks and playgrounds, as well as easy access to the waterfront, encourages walkers, bikers, and skaters—so does the incredible difficulty of finding an empty parking space. There are bike lanes on Bedford Avenue and a handful of Citi Bike stations.
The BMT Canarsie Line (L train) stops at Bedford Avenue and North 7th Street as is the main line used to get in and out of Williamsburg, heading either east into Queens or west into Manhattan. The BMT Jamaica Line (J, M, and Z trains), as well as the IND Crosstown Line (G train) serve the area as well.
The average commuting time to work in Williamsburg is 32.3 minutes. Get to Grand Central in 32 minutes by train (or 18 minutes by car); to Union Square in 23 minutes by train (or 17 minutes by car); or to Wall Street in 30 minutes by train (or 17 minutes by car).
Greenpoint borders Williamsburg to the north; Bedford-Stuyvesant borders it to the south; Bushwick and East Williamsburg border it to the east; and the East River borders it to the west.
Those who need to fly nationally or internationally can use LaGuardia Airport, which is only seven miles away from the center of Williamsburg.
Top commercial real estate listings in Williamsburg
To discuss available office spaces in Williamsburg, contact one of our experienced brokers. Or, just read about one of these three SquareFoot-recommended properties in the neighborhood:
- 361 Stagg Street: Built in 1930, 361 Stagg Street is an office building located at the corner of Stagg Street and Morgan Avenue. It has 79,352 square feet of rentable space. Right now four units are available for rent ranging from 1,118 to 2,238 square feet in size. The building features high ceilings, large windows, and plenty of natural light. The building has a walk score of 93 and a transit score of 76. The Morgan Avenue Transit Stop (L) and the Grand Street (L Line) Transit Stops are both nearby. Plenty of coffee shops and restaurants operate within walking distance of 361 Stagg Street. Visit Dumpling Cafe, Jessie’s Bakery, or Dun-Well Doughnuts for breakfast or coffee; take a walk to The Anchored Inn, Danny’s Pizzeria, or Champs Diner for lunch.
- 60 Broadway: 60 Broadway, sometimes referred to as “The Gresch,” is a hybrid residential and office building located in Williamsburg. Built in 1916, it has 12 stories and 130 units. Currently, two units, one 3,000 square feet in size and the other 3,200 square feet in size, are available for rent. Contact us to schedule a tour or to learn more about pricing. Current tenants at 60 Broadway include Knotel, Guardian Media Group, China Orient Asset Management, and RXR Realty. The building has a walk score of 95. It can be accessed via trains J, M and Z. Eat lunch just steps from the office at Marlowe And Sons, Streets BK, or Patrizia’s.
- 285 North 6th Street: 285 North 6th Street was originally constructed around 1900. At first, it was a factory building, but over the years, it has been renovated into an office building featuring full-floor boutique lofts, view glass windows, wood flooring, and steel accents. 285 North 6th Street, sometimes called N6 Lofts, is located near Metropolitan Avenue, the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, and trains G and L. Currently, three units are available for rent at this location, and all three are 5,600 square feet in size. Contact us for pricing and other details. Nearby cafes and restaurants include Kellogg’s Diner, The End Brooklyn, The Commodore, and 66 Hope Cafe.
The Lenape Native Americans first inhabited the area now called Williamsburg. In 1638, the Dutch West India Company bought the land from them and later established the Town of Boswijck. The English version of the name became Bushwick. Its close proximity to the shore allowed local farmers to easily sell goods via ferry across the East River to those in New York City. Richard M. Woodhull, a real estate speculator, eventually gave the neighborhood its name when he named some farmland “Williamsburgh” after Colonel Jonathan Williams, his land surveyor.
In 1840, the Town of Williamsburgh left Bushwick and became its own entity. Williamsburg experienced its first bout of rapid expansion in the first half of the 19th century, briefly becoming its own city in 1852 before becoming incorporated into Brooklyn in 1855. Williamsburg continued to experience industrial, cultural, and economic growth, with population growth following in fast pursuit. At the beginning of the 20th century, Williamsburg was the most densely populated neighborhood in New York City. The modern classic novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was set in Williamsburg during this time.
Around 2005, apartment rental prices went down, attracting artists to the area. Though the neighborhood is still a popular haven for creative types, the cost of living has gone up considerably. In particular, the North Side is expensive because it’s close to the BMT Canarsie and IND Crosstown Lines. As a result, some of the artists have moved to neighboring areas such as Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, or Red Hook.
The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has landmarked several buildings in Williamsburg, including the Kings County Savings Institution, the Williamsburg Houses, three buildings of the Domino Sugar Refinery, and the New England Congregational Church and Rectory.